11 months

Storm is a month older. This one disappeared on me faster than the previous month, if that is even possible. There was an abundance of fellowship and job application deadlines, and there was traveling and illness.

Let’s get into it.

Fall has settled in now, and it’s great. We’ve stocked up on warm clothes and all the nice holidays are coming up. We bundle up when we go outside to visit the playground or the local cafes, and then come back in for hot drinks, candles, and family cuddle times.

Fall is excellent for outside naps

It got cold here.

The playground is full of fun: there are sticks and stones, like, everywhere

Cuddly TV time

First Halloween

Carving pumpkins = good time

The first half of this month was all about books. Storm has been focusing on book play: pulling books from the book shelf, turning over pages in books, requesting books to be read (by handing them to us), pointing at picture in books, chewing on books, and yes, tearing books to pieces. I’ve taken up patching and taping books back together as a new crafty hobby.

The second half of the month was all about Storm helping with household chores – taking bowls and pots out of drawers, wiping surfaces, sweeping and mopping, and above all, stirring whatever we’re cooking. He loves stirring! So much so that he cries when he’s not allowed to help anymore. Which is slightly problematic, because of the part of the process where the thing we’re stirring is a hot pan on a hot stove, and Storm still needs to develop his understanding of how hot things will burn your hands and feet where the two come into contact.

Little helper

He’s actually helping

He has also become very interested in utensils. Two-thirds of his life is now spent with a spoon or a fork in his hand. It’s great that he’s interested, but utensils are hard! At meals, he rarely eats because he’s busy pushing his food around with the spoon he’s holding upside down. What’s worse, he get’s frustrated when he wants to walk and he can’t get a good hold of your hand because of the spoon in his hand, but there is no way he’s giving it up. We’ve stopped trying taking it from him, because he has a meltdown whenever we do. Not worth it. He’ll have to figure this one out on his own.

Inspecting the pots by hitting each in turn with a spoon

Overall, we’re seeing Storm’s will develop more every day, along with his ability to express pleasure or displeasure. Like this one afternoon when he got tired of Paulus working and insisted on giving him one of his toy stick-things.

At the end of the month, Storm’s Oma and Opa came to visit before taking us to Holland.

Grandparents, man, they allow you to do whatever you want, including sitting on the table

Showed the grandparents our favorite local restaurant

We took a day-trip to the nearby national park together. It was great.

Family hike.

This place is beautiful.

Sticks are the best. Gloves are just ok.

Small rest at the end of the hike

And then we drove to Holland. Storm did better in the car than he normally does. We only had to stop once to get some air and do some dancing.

Arrived at the grandparents, Storm was wildly excited about a new environment – new spoons to hold, new nooks to explore, new light switches to press, and new toys to poke with your spoon.

A cabinet full of toys

Yes, he noticed the lamp again.

On the weekend, we went into town so Storm could see Sinterklaas arriving.

The month as a whole has been dominated by Storm experiencing separation anxiety. We have a full-time baby sitter now – who is excellent, and Storm really likes her – but when we leave in the morning, Storm cries. And cries. It hurts my heart so much. Luckily, the hurt melts away when we come home, and he smiles his big smile in greeting. And I try to get as much quality time in with him in the morning and afternoon. But it has been hard this month, because my workload has been so high.

It was especially hard when he got sick. We stayed in Holland with my in-laws for a week because Paulus was attending conferences and giving talks and stuff, and I needed to work long hours to be able to meet my deadlines. A few days into the visit, Storm developed a cough and a runny nose. And then, weirdly, he started throwing up. At first, I thought he threw up because of the coughing. It wasn’t so bad, and it didn’t seem to bother him initially, so we were going to take the train home as we had planned. But then, in the car to the train station, Storm projectile vomited, and we decided it would be wiser to stay for another few days. That was a good choice, because the vomiting continued and he got diarrhea as well.  And then I got sick, and then Paulus. And we managed to infect a visiting family member as well. Good times. But leaving your sick kid and hearing them cry as a result was just too hard, so I ended up staying out of his sight during my work hours, so we wouldn’t have to go through the separation process more than once a day. I know separation anxiety is normal, but it’s hard. 

In more positive news, Storm has gotten much more mobile this month. He claps, waves, imitates movements,  observes my signing with fascination, joins in the gestures accompanying his favorite songs, and is now able to push into sitting from lying on his belly.


And here we are. It’s almost December, and our time in Germany is rapidly coming to an end. And by the next update,  Storm will be one year old.

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